Breakdown: Converged Media Workflow (Coordinating Paid + Owned + Earned)

The purpose of this post is to serve as an industry reference for converged media workflows: How companies will coordinate paid, owned and earned as one orchestration.  This is continued coverage on Converged Media, read the full report.

Business Needs
Customers already experience advertising, corporate content, editorial, and social media at the same time, often in an integrated manner, although most brands do not approach the experience in one deployment. As Facebook, Twitter deploy social ads that utilize earned and owned content amplified by paid, these worlds are quickly merging. Brands that want to achieve the best experience for their customers in digital channels must approach in an integrated converged method, and understand how to utilize each channel’s strength. Brands that don’t have these workflows are at risk for inefficiency, and give agencies an opportunity to lead. Brands that produce these workflows working with agency and software partners can deliver an orchestrated experience.

Converged Media Workflows Represent Complexity in a Simple Graphic
This is continuing coverage of research I’m conducting with Rebecca Lieb (Bio, Blog, Twitter, Books), my co-author on this report as well as Jessica Groopman (Bio, Twitter), researcher. I recommend you first read the whole report on Converged Media (Paid, Owned, and Earned), in which we didn’t go into depth into the workflow that we found.  As the industry starts to combine these often disparate channels, we’ll see new forms of workflows emerge that coordinate all these channels.  Don’t be fooled by these simple diagrams, as each step transcends a different channel, intense coordination is required on brand side, agency side, as well as software.  A new ecosystem of players will also converge in order to serve this new workflow, and professionals that run to meet this future need now will be ahead in their careers over those that do not.

Definition: A Converged Media Workflow is a simple yet comprehensive diagram that represent complex streams that coordinate paid, owned, and earned channels in a holistic manner across an entire customer experience –beyond a siloed approach. As a result, the entire customer experience has a greater net benefit to customers and brands than individual deployments.

Start with Strategy
Companies should not approach the Converged Media approach without first having a goal in mind, as there are significant changes that happen both internally, with agency partners, and new software requirements.  To get the most return in your effort, start by:

  • Have a Content Strategy that Works Across Paid, Owned, and Earned.  Re-purposing the same content on each channel is not s recipe for success, as each provides a unique opportunity, challenge, and therefore approach.  Instead, develop a broader Content Strategy by first understanding that all companies (even those selling widgets) are now media companies.  Secondly, develop a strategy by understanding how to rebalance your marketing equation by developing a content strategy.  Read Rebecca’s blog with many resources on this topic, or the specific report on Content Marketing to further understand this growing trend.  New roles, content coordination, and the ability to track all of these content changes across the enterprise will emerge, as well as new professional opportunities for those that are seeking to grow.
  • Expect Savvy Marketers to have Playbooks –Supplemented by Agency Partners.  Don’t expect to brands to recreate a new workflow each time from scratch, we’ve started to collect some of the workflows below, and expect that many agencies and brands will develop playbooks and bring them forth in the planning stage.  Don’t overly rely on the same play, as competitors may  exploit the same play time and time again, so expect flexibility based on what the data tea leaves are reading.  When selecting a converged media workflow, ensure that it spans both paid, owned and earned channels, but also looks at media sites, social networks, microsites, brand sites and hosted communities.  Ensure these are also representing a global perspective, and consider how it can impact multiple product sets within the brand.
  • Be Ready: Significant Industry Changes Ahead in Brand, Agency and Software.  While the research report goes into greater depth on the predicted changes coming, we see a few significant changes to the entire ecosystem.  Inside of brands, the marketing department will start to restructure outside of silos so that the advertising group, corporate communication, brand marketing, and social media teams start to work together on a more frequent basis.  Then, we expect marketing leadership to demand that agency partners come together to look at converged media from one strategic viewpoint –digital agencies that lead this discussion will be in a position of power over those that do not.  Lastly, new software solutions are starting manifest including from Adobe Digital Marketing, Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Oracle Marketing, Bazaarvoice, Lithium, ThisMoment, IBM, ExactTarget, and a host others of suites that I’m tracking.  Expect a network of software point players to assemble and connect to each other –in order to counter the suites.

Altimeter’s Research Found a Workflow Pattern
There are many workflows –this is just the most common one, although we know many more will emerge.  Altimeter conducted research with 34 ecosystem contributors and continue to take briefings and share this workflow with others.  Depending on who you speak with, you’ll find different emphasize on different parts of the workflow.

Converged Media Workflow
Above: Altimeter found a workflow pattern based on 34 interviews, while we heard a variation on workflow patterns, this one was common, read the full report to learn more.

Matrix: Breakdown of One Converged Media Workflow

Phase What You Need What No One Tells You
Real-Time Measurement & Iteration (Center item) This is a baseline requirement across all phases.  This internal center effort is apart from periodic reporting, as it should be gauging in real time the performance of all paid, owned, and earned channels and allow for rapid iteration.   Don’t expect this team to be able to see the forest through the trees as they peer in closely, so ensure the periodic reporting phase is included –you need both. Real time measurements require a sane way to communicate these changes to the company, by providing daily wrap ups, trend diagrams, and maybe even real time tickers.  Barry Judge, former CMO of Best Buy told me he has a digital ticker in his office with all mentions of his company so he can make iterative changes in real time.
Periodic Strategic Analysis and Reporting (Top) If your effort is kicking off, start by conducting analysis of what’s happened in earned, and owned channels. We often heard from interviews that earned tells you what target market is saying or where they are, which informs owned.  However in most cases, launches were built off existing products so analysis on owned was common.  This analysis should be conducted looking back several periods (months to years). In addition to seeing what your customers say, analyze what’s being said of competitors and what they’ve said.  Find out what’s resonated and what has not and why. Follow colleague Susan Etlinger to learn more.
Content Strategy (Clockwise) Often companies jump to decide what they say, without analyzing what people want to hear, and that’s why the prior phase on analysis and reporting was a requirement.  Companies can now develop a content strategy, but should understand how it changes and varies depending on the following variables:  product type, geography, channel, screen, and source of information.  Note that this spans many internal teams from corp comm, brand marketing, media buying, social media team and all related agency partners. To try to focus on a consolidated content strategy across all of the permutations (we call this the Dynamic Customer Journey) get focused on the top persona behaviors in each of the three channels and top screens. Get focused.
Publication Across Channels This phase requires both internal governance on message and engagement orchestration that includes communication, internal collaboration, a series of meetings, a clear leader and the tools to support.  We’re currently seeing a variety of tools from CMS, media network management, and social media management system (SMMS) technologies span this environment. Agency and brand stakeholders are seeking collaboration tools that will span all teams, in particular, watch how PBworks and Adobe Creative Cloud develop to serve these real time needs.
Engagement Real time measurement and iteration (center item) should be occurring as a baseline, as a result, post-publication, teams will identify hot paths and hot conversations where content is resonating.  Then, teams should invest in sending in content experts, community managers, product leads, executives, or influencers to trigger further discussion. Don’t limit engagement to only when a hot discussion is occurring, but set a baseline in monitoring and engagement.  Consider how many brands are already deploying Command Centers (focused on social now, but quickly going broader)
Amplification New media units have been on the rise from Facebook and Twitter in the form of social ads.  These units often can be promoted based upon resonating with earned or owned content in social networks.  Double and triple down on content that’s resonating to reach a broader audience, or tap into the social graph by allowing those involved to share with their networks. Social ads are not limited to social networks alone.  Bazaarvoice has already launched social ads “media” product that aggregates ratings and reviews into IAB approved units.  Expect new media networks to emerge that support social content.
Restructuring Nothing is static in this real time world –even your umbrella messaging and tag lines.  Understand that messaging must evolve and change in real time to meet needs the changes of the market.  Savvy marketers will know when to bend, by involving customers into these process –and know when to stay on overall message to lead market to a new stance in positioning. New tools will emerge that allow customers/end users to help collaborate in creating future messages and integrating across all channels.  Watch Adobe, Salesforce, Oracle for tools that can enable this at the enterprise level.
Cycle Repeats The workflow is a circle and in this workflow, the cycle should continue repeat, fueling consistent and constant content across coordinated channels. What we don’t know is how often this cycle will repeat, as there isn’t industry data on how fast this process can occur.

Notable Industry Converged Workflows
Altimeter has obtained a few of these workflows through online search, slideshare, as well as received content from contributors. I’ll continue to add notable examples as I see them overtime, please leave comments below.

Engagement around media
Above: Edelman’s David Armano shows a workflow between Paid Owned Earned
Analyst Note: This early diagram quickly delineates a workflow among channels focusing on strength of each

Screen shot 2012-09-02 at 3.34.35 PM
Social Marketing and Engagement, Slideshare
by David J Carr (twitter, blog), Digital Strategy Director, Chemistry Communications
Analyst Note: The integration of social listening, social engagement, email, website and communities

Screen shot 2012-09-02 at 3.42.25 PM
Social Marketing and Engagement, Slideshare

by David J Carr (twitter, blog), Digital Strategy Director, Chemistry Communications
Analyst Note: The integration between multiple channels both from awareness push to engagement and across screens

Related Resources on Converged Media Workflows
I sifted through many online resources, found a few select pieces here, leave comments below, I’ll add to this over time.

Today, most workflows are limited to individual channel deployment and lack a holistic view of the entire customer experience. We found few public workflows in our quest, but see more emerging in briefings with software marketing companies and agency leads. Expect that a playbook will emerge from lead agencies and digital marketing suites that outline how all these channels and efforts work in a consolidated way. New opportunities for the emergence of a new market, professionals, strategists, and software and agency partners will emerge, and those that lead will have more opportunity to shape the conversation over those that follow.

I look forward to the dialog as this space evolves, please leave a comment with your point of view, or URLs to related Converged Media workflows.

29 Replies to “Breakdown: Converged Media Workflow (Coordinating Paid + Owned + Earned)”

  1. This covers much useful ground in an area where few are doing very well. I’d say that along with a logistics strategy you need to have an editorial strategy- start by identifying a core, meaningful topic of conversation – something interesting and valuable to the people you are trying to connect with. (such as eloqua’s great marketing content). How will you continue to engage them? How will you use paid and earned media to bring attention to your owned media, and how will you use your owned media to aggregate all three?

  2. Thanks Deb. Great points to consider as a rollout. I agree, these diagrams don’t reflect the full strategy, but just some deliverables that advanced companies will have built out.

  3. That was an interesting move by Obama. A “retort” I called it, without being too snotty. Apparently, it was the second most retweeted tweet of all time, I hear. In any case, he tweet bombed the RNC well.

  4. Great article Jeremiah – good to see you’ve built upon the Coverged Media Workflow.

    From my experience, the biggest challenge is determining how analysis informs better content – so that agencies/brands can leverage those insights into more engaging content. Have you seen any brands, agencies or software providers that execute in a uniqie or effective way in this part of the workflow? In your opinion, which tools have done the best job of servicing this entire workflow?

  5. I particularly loved the point on Content Strategy:
    Often companies jump to decide what they say, without analyzing what people want to hear. We’ve got all of these listening tools for crisis management and campaign goals, but we’re not always looking for patterns and using common sense to improve the user experience. Thanks for a great article! Really enjoyed it as a followup to your report with Rebecca Lieb.

  6. Good overview and exactly how companies need to respond in this integrated marketing world. Every Brand is now in the publishing business I agree the focus should be on a broader perspective that is integrated, measurable, and whose content is engaging.

  7. Good overview and exactly how companies need to respond in this integrated marketing world. Every Brand is now in the publishing business I agree the focus should be on a broader perspective that is integrated, measurable, and whose content is engaging.

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